Friday, July 19, 2013

KS - Kansas appealing in sex offender registry ruling

Newspaper and coffee
Original Article

Of course they are. They have to look like they are putting up a fight all the while spending more tax payer money to defend their stance, even though it is unconstitutional.



WICHITA (AP) - Kansas will appeal a state district court judge's decision that orders a child molester's name to be removed from its offender registry after finding the registration laws violate the U.S. Constitution, the state's top prosecutor said Thursday.

At issue is Tuesday's decision in which Shawnee County Judge Larry Hendricks found that Kansas law ostracizes offenders and requires them to remain registered longer than necessary. But, his ruling applied only to the 50-year-old Lenexa man who sued the Kansas Bureau of Investigation and Johnson County sheriff's office seeking to end his registration requirement.

"After carefully reviewing the district court's ruling, we do not think it is legally correct," Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt said Thursday in a written statement.
- Did you also review the US and state Constitution?  We doubt it!  It's clearly an unconstitutional ex post facto law.

Kirk Ridgway, the attorney representing the Johnson County sheriff's office, said one of their concerns when considering whether to appeal was that any Kansas Supreme Court ruling would apply to others currently on the registry.
- If a law is deemed unconstitutional, then it should affect others who are being unconstitutionally punished!

Schmidt said the state would fight for the integrity of the Kansas Offender Registration Act, as well as for continued compliance with the federal Adam Walsh Act, which is designed to protect the public, particularly children, from sex offenders.
- Why is the act named the "Adam Walsh CHILD PROTECTION and safety act?"  It only punishes ex-sex offenders and not everybody who harms children, like abusive parents, baby sitters, gang members, drug dealers, etc.  Why not rename it to "Adam Walsh Sex Offender Punishment Act" to be more accurate?

"Having complete and accurate information about registered sex offenders available to the public through the online registry is a central public safety purpose of the federal law, which Kansas has implemented, and the district court's ruling runs counter to that purpose," Schmidt said.
- And the act itself runs counter to the US and state Constitutions!

The Kansas offender registry law requires sex, drug and violent offenders to register with law enforcement. It applies retroactively and offenders must register for 15 years to life, depending on the severity of the crime. Nearly 11,600 persons are on the registry, according to the KBI — 7,417 for sex crimes, 2,283 for drug offenses and 1,899 for violent crimes.

Kansas will also appeal the lower court's decision that allowed the plaintiff to proceed anonymously in the case. The plaintiff's attorney, Chris Joseph, has said his client is fearful of retribution if he is identified.

"The public has a right to know when a convicted sex offender challenges the very law that is designed to protect the public," Schmidt said. "This cloak of anonymity does not serve the public interest or advance public safety."

Joseph said in an email Thursday that he welcomed an appeal, but was concerned about the attorney general's request to reveal his client's identity.

"The only purpose for doing so, that I can think of, is to attempt to intimidate him and discourage his effort to protect his constitutional rights," Joseph said. "I am disheartened that our Attorney General would resort to such tactics."
- Does it really surprise you?  Not us.

The plaintiff pleaded guilty in 2003 to having taken indecent liberties with a child/touching in Johnson County. At the time, he was required to remain on the registry for 10 years. But in 2011, the Legislature amended the law, extending the length of time offenders must be registered to 25 years.

The state told the plaintiff it applied retroactively and that he had to remain registered until 2028.

His lawsuit argued the law is unconstitutional because it was applied retroactively, violating the "ex post facto" clause of the U.S. Constitution.

Attorney, who represented the plaintiff, argued several state supreme courts have found provisions in registry laws as excessive in relation to public safety objectives. He cited registry provisions struck down by state supreme courts in Alaska, Indiana, and Ohio.

The U.S. Supreme Court rejected in 2003 a similar retroactive challenge to Alaska's registration law, finding at the time it was constitutional as a civil regulatory scheme. But the nation's highest court also said that if a retroactive law is punitive, then it would be unconstitutional.

Hendricks said the 2011 Kansas law was effectively punitive, noting its requirements have become increasingly severe and social media creates a virtual forum for "shaming."

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Loneranger said...

I find it interesting when they fall back on some old ruling. they need to stay current. Parts of these laws have been ruled unconstitutional on many occasions. I have always stated that if it were ruled punitive as it really is and it's getting harder and harder for any judge to say it's not and keep a straight face doing so. this house of cards will come down. The fact that they are over the line is obvious but like any bad law it has to be ripe as they say before it can be overturned. this is so ripe now I don't know how anyone can stand the smell. They always have to say if they do this they will have to release all the child molesters. Fact is that is a scare tactic as the majority of people this would affect are not your pediphiles. a person like that would never be released based on repeat offences and other rules built into this system. but it sounds good and they don't really need to back it up. The sad part of this is they really believe that having someones name and address is some kind of magic that will keep someone from reoffending. Or possibly they really know it does nothing but are afraid of the political liability they may face if they admit it. The emperor has no clothes.

nathan rabalais said...

My advice to this man is get out of Kansas before they decide to put You back on the registry in other words RUN!!!!!!!

deathklok said...

If the Kansas Attorney General didn't appeal this it would be a major strike against him in the next election. Opponents would take full advantage of it.

My hope is, if this ruling holds up, there will be more happy families in Kansas removed from the hate list and for this I'll impart positive affirmations.

Brian Omaha said...

I'm on the registry too, and there is no question it is punitive. I've never hurt, touched, or even tried to touch anyone, but I'm a lifer. Clearly in contrast to Kennedy Mendoza factors applied on Smith Doe.

I hope this case goes to SCOTUS and overturns SORNA. How much money will have to be paid out in damages when they call this law punishment like it is? I personally hope this bankrupts every state that has done this bullshit. That would be the fairest outcome.